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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Michael J Owens, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, 100 Woodruff Cir, Atlanta GA 30322; Telephone: (404) 727-4059; Fax: (404) 727-3233; Email: mowens@emory.edu

Authors' Contributions: Nicola D. Hanson, Ph.D. played the primary role in experimental design and execution, data analysis, and manuscript preparation.

Katherine A. Boss-Williams, Ph.D. and Jay M. Weiss, Ph.D. assisted in the design and execution of the tailshock experiments.

Michael J. Owens, Ph.D. and Charles B. Nemeroff, Ph.D. performed advisory functions in all stages of experimental design and interpretation.

All authors contributed to and have approved the final manuscript.

Acknowledgments: Serum corticosterone analysis was performed by Robert Bonsall, Ph.D. and Milburn Emery, M.S.

The authors are also grateful to the valuable training and insight provided by Ronald Duman, Ph.D., Yale University.

Disclosures: Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., served on the Board of Directors of NovaDel Pharma and Mt. Cook Pharma; He served on the Scientific Advisory Board of, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, CeNeRx BioPharma, NovaDel Pharma, PharmaNeuroboost, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and NARSAD; He holds stock, stock options or equity in CeNeRx BioPharma, Corcept, NovaDel Pharma, PharmaNeuroboost, and Revaax Pharma; He holds two US patents: Method and devices for transdermal delivery of lithium, and Method of assessing antidepressant drug therapy via transport inhibition of monoamine neurotransmitters.

Michael J. Owens, Ph.D., serves as a consultant for H. Lundbeck A/S; He holds one US patent: Method of assessing antidepressant drug therapy via transport inhibition of monoamine neurotransmitters (US 7,148,027 B2).

Nicola D. Hanson, Ph.D., Jay M. Weiss, Ph.D., and Katherine A. Boss-Williams, Ph.D., have no financial conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by NIH MH-42088 and DA-15040 (NDH).

Previous support for the development of selectively bred lines was provided by the Theodore and Vada Stanley Foundation of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI).

Michael J. Owens, Ph.D., has received research grants from Eli Lilly, Lundbeck A/S, Cyberonics, Ortho-McNeil Janssen, AstraZeneca, and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma.


  • Neurogenesis
  • dentate gyrus
  • brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • stress
  • tailshock
  • resident-intruder

Several stressors fail to reduce adult hippocampal neurogenesis


Journal Title:



Volume 36, Number 10


, Pages 1520-1529

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of adult laboratory animals has been widely reported to be vulnerable to many psychological and physical stressors. However, we have found no effects of acute restraint stress, acute or subchronic tailshock stress, or acute, subchronic, or chronic resident-intruder stress on neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation, short or long term survival of newborn cells, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression in adult rats. In addition, we did not observe any effect of chronic resident-intruder stress on NPC proliferation in adolescent rats. A selectively bred stress-sensitive line was also found to exhibit no alterations in NPC proliferation following tailshock stress, although this line did exhibit a lower proliferation rate under baseline (unstressed) conditions when compared with non-selected rats. These results challenge the prevailing hypothesis that any stressor of sufficient intensity and duration has a marked negative impact upon the rate of hippocampal neurogenesis, and suggest that some yet unidentified factors related to stress and experimental conditions are crucial in the regulation of neurogenesis.

Copyright information:

© 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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